(a) The commission may upon its own motion and shall upon the filing of a complaint setting forth a cause of action under this article, or the rules promulgated thereunder, ascertain the facts and if warranted hold a hearing for the suspension or revocation of a license, or the imposition of sanctions against a licensee: Provided, That no disciplinary action may be brought against a licensee upon any complaint that is filed more than two years after the acts or omissions alleged in the complaint or, where the licensee is alleged to have engaged in fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, more than two years after the date at which the complainant discovered, or through reasonable diligence should have discovered, the alleged unprofessional conduct. Time limits for the filing of a complaint shall be tolled during any period in which material evidence necessary for the commission's evaluation or use is unavailable to the commission due to an ongoing criminal investigation or prosecution.
(b) All complaints must be submitted in writing and must fully describe the acts or omissions constituting the alleged unprofessional conduct.
(c) Upon initiation or receipt of the complaint, the commission shall provide a copy of the complaint to the licensee for his or her response to the allegations contained in the complaint. The accused party shall file an answer within twenty days of the date of service. Failure of the licensee to file a timely response may be considered an admission of the allegations in the complaint: Provided, That nothing contained herein shall prohibit the accused party from obtaining an extension of time to file a response, if the commission, its executive director or other authorized representative permits the extension.
(d) The commission may cause an investigation to be made into the facts and circumstances giving rise to the complaint and any person licensed by the commission has an affirmative duty to assist the commission, or its authorized representative, in the conduct of its investigation.
(e) After receiving the licensee's response and reviewing any information obtained through investigation, the commission shall determine if probable cause exists that the licensee has violated any provision of this article or the rules.
(f) If a determination that probable cause exists for disciplinary action, the commission may hold a hearing in compliance with section twenty-one of this article or may dispose of the matter informally through a consent agreement or otherwise.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
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